The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade has scheduled a hearing to discuss the federal-level legalization of online poker, but poker players are not optimistic about it. Experts feel that efforts to pass an online poker bill at the federal level have no chances of being successful.
The hearing was announced early in December and a list of people who will testify before Congressmen has been published. Titled, “The State of Online Gaming,” the hearing will be held on Dec 10 Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players’ Alliance (PPA); Geoff Freeman, CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA); Andrew Abboud, vice president (government relations and community development) of Las Vegas Sands; Les Bernal, national director of Stop Predatory Gambling; Rachel Volberg, associate professor at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts; and Kurt Eggert, professor of law at Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University, will testify at the hearing. The official website of the subcommittee says that the purpose of the hearing is to
examine the current regulatory landscape for online gaming after the Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act.
Besides, the Internet Poker Freedom Act, also referred to as HR 2666, proposed by Representative Joe Barton will also be discussed at the hearing.
Joe Barton, a Texas-based Congressman, has been a staunch advocate of online poker legalization for a long time. Although many experts feel that there is no chance of an online poker bill being passed at the federal level, Barton continues to remain optimistic about his proposal.
Meanwhile, three individual US states—Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada—have already legalized online gambling within their borders. While New Jersey and Delaware have legalized several forms of online gambling, Nevada has legalized only online poker. Many more US states are expected to legalize online poker in 2014.
Simultaneously, one of the major personalities in the gambling industry, Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands, has spoken against the spread of online gambling in the country. In a bid to prevent the further spread of online poker, he plans to launch a coalition.
Sheldon Adelson says that, instead of passing a federal-level online poker bill, the Congress should create a strong law that would completely ban online poker gaming. This is least likely to happen considering the fact that online poker is already legal in three US states.